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The Resurrection of our Lord A, April 9, 2023

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The Resurrection of our Lord A, April 9, 2023

God has the last word.  Peter preaches the death of Jesus Christ at the hands of the people and God’s subsequent raising of him from the dead (Acts 2:23-24; 3:13; 4:10; 10:39-40).  The people kill Jesus, silencing him and putting an end to his works.  Yet, that is not the end.  The people do not have the last word.  God has the final word, and that word is life, not death.  God’s resurrection of Jesus the Christ is the Lord’s affirmation of the prophetic witness—generations of prophetic witness—that “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (vs. 43).

This forgiveness of sins constitutes the new thing which the Lord is doing (Is. 43:19).  The persistent cycle of the people’s sin incurring God’s wrath and judgment against them, followed by God’s grace upon them… this centuries-long cycle is broken in Jesus Christ.  Forgiveness is no longer obtained by the people’s work, whether that be the offering of an appropriate sacrifice… the promised amendment of their behavior… or the performance of acts of contrition.  No, the forgiveness of sins is granted only through the name of Jesus.  The only repentance demanded is the turn from unbelief to belief.  Unbelief puts Jesus to death (vs. 39).  Belief that Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead brings forgiveness of sin… even the sin of putting Jesus to death.

Peter tells the crowd before him that the resurrected Jesus not only ate and drank but also gave those chosen by God as witnesses a command to preach.  The content of the preaching declared Jesus as God’s appointed judge of those alive and of those dead—that is all people (vs. 42).  This preaching has continued from generation to generation until it is now preached to your ears.  The content has remained the same.  The intent remains the same:  to turn you from unbelief to belief—that is, to repent you.  The result remains the same:  the forgiveness of your sins.  Your sin does not have the last word.  God, in Jesus Christ, delivers the ultimate and final verdict:  forgiveness!

Table Talk:  Discuss the importance of knowing that the depth of our sin includes the killing of the Son of God.
Pray:  Father in heaven, grant me to trust your final word of forgiveness and not look to my own sin.  Amen

Acts 10:34-43 English Standard Version

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

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